UFC lightweight Beneil Dariush is not sure why the promotion is persisting with its current weigh-in system.
The topic of weight cutting has always been highly-debated in MMA, but even more so after women’s bantamweight Aspen Ladd’s scary weigh-in before UFC Sacramento this past weekend. Trembling and shivering as she hit the scales, Ladd was in clear agony as many called for her to move up a division afterward.
Many UFC fighters have done just that such as Kevin Lee, Michael Chiesa, and Luke Rockhold, but on the other hand, many still persist with extreme weight cuts.
For Dariush, the weight cut to 155 pounds is not as difficult as it is for others. But that doesn’t mean he’s fine with the system.
“Right now, I weigh 175 pounds,” Dariush said in a recent sit-down interview. “But when I weigh myself for the fight, I’ll be 155. The day of the fight, I become 170.
“But now if I want to fight in the 170 category it becomes difficult. I reduce my weight a little, but these other people reduce their weight more. From 190-200, they reduce to 170.”
ONE Championship, for example, discourages athletes from cutting weight by dehydration as they employ hydration tests. In addition, all the weight classes are moved up, so in essence, a flyweight like Demetrious Johnson is now competing at 135 pounds.
Of course, the Asian promotion’s weigh-in process is shrouded in secrecy as results are undisclosed to the public, but otherwise, most seem to advocate for their method.
That’s not to say that Dariush would change employers. He still believes the UFC is the premier organization in mixed martial arts. And while he didn’t specifically mention any other organization’s method of weight cutting, he would still like for the UFC’s system to change.
“There’s lots of politics involved,” he explained. “I don’t like the weighing system and weight cutting but I don’t know why they’re not changing it. I’ve stayed because UFC is the best company in the world. Best fighters are in UFC, if you look through the list of MMA, everyone says UFC is the number one organization, number one fighters, this is why I want to become a champion in this.
“But there are other organizations that deal with weight cutting in a different way. They don’t follow this system. If it were a different way, it would have been better.”